Are you smarter than...? See how you do on these 1800s and 1900s test questions

As students across the state head back to school for another year, it's time for you to test how your knowledge measures up to students from years past.

The following questions have been taken from a late 1870s Ohio certification exam for prospective teachers; an 1885 New Jersey high school entrance exam; an 1895 Kansas eighth grade final exam; a 1900 teacher certification exam; a 1912 eighth grade test from Bullitt County, Ky.; and the first SAT, given in 1926.
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Pendleton, OR

Interesting exercise; but flawed in the answers regarding forms of government. Even in 1912 we were a republic here in the U.S. I believe the best and to my knowledge only true democracy was ancient Greece. And in 1912 there were a myriad of absolute Monarchies to choose from so expecting Russia to be the answer is only pandering to our probably more complete knowledge of the revolution that had already begun(but was largely unknown by the common U.S. resident at the time) in Russia. To suggest that France of 1912 was a republic is sophistry as it is now evident that their ruling class had only been supplanted by newcomers instead of the true abolishment the French Revolution was supposed to have brought to pass.

Allen, TX

"Subjunctive mood: Subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express something that is contrary to fact (i.e., "If I were a rich man.")"

Well, that is partially right. Also, a case in which there is doubt, suspicion or incredulity, as well as when expressing an emotion (i.e. I wish that you were taller", or "Would that he were arriving now!")

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Many people consider Snopes to be an infallible source of truth. Fact is this organization is just a hand full of people. They classify many things as false that don't fit their belief system.

They are generally accurate but far from 100%

Allen, TX

Interesting that the section on punctuation includes a definition of a semicolon which references a comma, but the section omits the definition of a comma, which is far more common.

Allen, TX

Did they have WebMD in 1895? Hmmm....

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

A very fact-based test, but lacks in critical thinking skills. With the amount of information that exists today, a trite fact-based test is no longer as important as the ability to acquire factual information and utilize those facts effectively to solve problems or provide critical analysis.

Orem, UT

Well, it is official--I'm dumb.

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

Question 7 has some errors:

Whole numbers are positive integers. Negative integers are not whole numbers.
The fractions are not the only numbers that are whole numbers. Irrational numbers are not fractions nor whole numbers. (Simple example: the square root of 2 is neither a fraction nor a whole number)

Both of these definitions are faulty.

Charlottesville, VA

I have little patience for implications that education used to be better because it tested subjects now obsolete. Also, many of these answers are just wrong:
1. If "countess" is the feminine form of "earl," of what is "count" the masculine form?
2. I wonder how many single women in 2014 would agree that the proper term for them is "maid" or "spinster."
3. An ox is a neutered bull. A cow is not necessarily spayed, so these are not masculine and feminine forms of the same thing.
4. Who says Congress can only pass laws about keeping order? What about regulating commerce, to name just one unrelated Congressional function specifically enumerated in the Constitution? What about conducting foreign relations? What about the fact that primary responsibility for all of these functions resides at the state level? How is "the executive branch" the commander-in-chief? Only the President is the commander-in-chief, not the whole branch. And he's c-in-c of "the U.S. branches of the armed forces"? As opposed to what, the Canadian branches? We have five branches. Is one of them NOT a U.S. branch? (The National Guard is also organized under those same branches, not as a separate, non-federal branch.)

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